Everyone talks about the need to show learning program data that proves the impact of our efforts. Learning conferences, blogs, and meetings are filled with discussions on providing data to senior management. But for all this talk, what sort of progress are we making? [Read more…]
For learning programs to matter, they must make an impact. What does that mean? It means that learning must make a measurable, discernible difference to an organization. Measures of perception or opinion don’t reveal the difference. Hard data and metric changes do. That’s why choosing an impact measurement model is the best choice. [Read more…]
Learning programs can be measured—but only if they are designed to be measured.
It’s good design that enables measurement.
So the necessary question becomes: What makes for good design? [Read more…]
My previous post explained how using surveys as the main measurement method for so long harmed our profession. With surveys, our goal became keeping learners happy rather than changing their behaviors. “Effective practice” devolved into anything that would improve survey scores. This reliance eroded the professionalism of our field. [Read more…]
I’ve written often about the value of the learning profession. I’ve described how measurement is essential to show our value. But recently I read an article that said measuring ROI was detrimental to the learning profession. I was immediately skeptical, but soon I understood the author’s point. His argument was that the real goal of learning was not to show a financial result. Instead, he said, the goal was to show a “return on expectations.” In other words, we need to show how learning created an expected change in behavior. I can agree with that conclusion because the point of organizational learning is always to improve performance (behavior). Behavior change results directly from our work as learning pros. [Read more…]
I recently watched this video from Chief Learning Officer magazine.
In it, Michael Nehoray, PhD, VP, Head of Global Learning and Organization Development at Mattel describes Mattel’s process for grooming leaders within the company.
However, he mentions one thing rarely discussed in the professional learning and development field. He says, “You create change through a declared set of behaviors, of capabilities, and of values.” [Read more…]
Recently a colleague told me about a training conference she attended. She said there was a session on training ROI that was well attended. I asked her how the session went. She said it seemed like everyone wanted to understand learning measurement but there was no one in the group who could provide them clarity on what measurement is all about. She said the session moderator tried to facilitate some basic conclusions from the group but the conversation left people without an answer. [Read more…]
“Expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.” That’s the definition of expertise.
Many learning and development (L&D) practitioners landed in this profession because of their expertise. Companies often conscript people gifted in a certain area to become teachers and trainers of others. That mainly happens because learning programs are tied to a particular subject. A need arises and companies look for the subject matter expert (SME) who knows the material to teach others. It’s a natural and even logical reaction. It happens all the time in organizations. Learning departments often start by building around a group of SMEs.
As I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with SMEs transitioning to the L&D role. Many of today’s L&D pros took this path into the learning profession. I don’t question your expertise in the subject area that you teach. That’s an important skill to have, and obviously something your organization values or you wouldn’t have been invited to lead learning programs.
However, if you’re going to own your expertise in the L&D field, you must extend beyond your subject area. You must match your subject matter expertise to instructional design (ID) expertise. Build your L&D expertise as you link your SME knowledge and ID skills. [Read more…]
Leaders sit at the executive table. They provide information valuable to running the business. They are the top minds in an organization. From their area of expertise, they create strategies. Those strategies improve outcomes and help the business reach its goals. Each comes from a different discipline—sales, marketing, engineering, and so on. From their realm of knowledge, they tackle corporate challenges and address future direction. They identify how their specific departments can support organizational success.
Naturally, learning professionals want a seat at this table. Without it, they know they can’t impact organizational strategy. Learning is a powerful tool. It gives staff the knowledge and skills they need to help a business reach its strategic goals. From a seat of power, these pros can wield expertise and influence to drive business strategy. [Read more…]
Does your organization employ full-time L&D professionals? I feel certain many of you answered no to that question. For many businesses, the learning role has become a side hustle rather than a full-time focus.
I began thinking on this after reading The Future of Learning Careers in Chief Learning Office magazine. I wanted to touch on two of the author’s observations in particular.
In one instance, the author says, “…SMEs are still being used [to teach internally-led classes] but they are borrowed for that function while keeping their line jobs.” [Read more…]